The Tully Center for Free Speech

Free Speech Zone

NY should extend free press rights to students

By Roy Gutterman, February 15, 2018

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New York has been a beacon of free press rights since before it was a state. From colonial printer John Peter Zenger, who in 1734 convinced a jury that truth should overcome his trial for seditious libel, to The New York Times fighting for First Amendment rights in landmark Supreme Court cases in the 1960s and early ’70s, the Empire State has supported free press rights of almost all its citizens.

Now it is time to extend those rights to student journalists in high schools and colleges.

The Student Journalist Free Speech Act, introduced in the New York Assembly last week by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Binghamton, seeks to protect the free speech and free press rights of student journalists in both high schools and colleges. Its Senate sponsor, Republican Thomas O’Mara of Big Flats, reintroduced an expanded version of the bill this week.
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